A new grant will let a University of Washington-based project add a new fleet to its quest to learn more about past climate from the records of long-gone mariners. The UW is among the winners of the 2017 “Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives” awards, announced earlier this month by the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Library and Information Resources.
The new $482,018 grant to the UW, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and the National Archives Foundation will support “Seas of Knowledge: Digitization and Retrospective Analysis of the Historical Logbooks of the United States Navy.” This will allow the project to digitize the logbooks, muster rolls and related materials from U.S. naval vessels, focusing on the period from 1861 to 1879.
The project will also digitize the National Archives’ related collection of muster rolls that shows the names of all the enlisted sailors on board. When combined with logbooks that list the names of officers, this will provide historians and family researchers an online database of unprecedented detail and a window into day-to-day life during this period in history, Wood said. The grant also will support an educational effort that will allow the public to explore the information uncovered in the ships’ logbooks through an interactive exhibit.
The Official Name of this Project is: “Seas of Knowledge: Digitization and Retrospective Analysis of the Historical Logbooks of the United States Navy”